As seen in the excellent images by Kathy Kayner, Greg showed us most of the species found in California on this chart. He also recommends the book "Dragonflies and Damselflies of California" by local well-known biologist Tim Manolis.
Greg caught a few specimens the day before to be released at our event. It was an exciting moment when he delicately removed one at a time from their cage, so each of us could get a very up close look at them, then he let a youngster carefully hold and release each one! Two of them took to the sky but the last one headed to the river!
Our county park rangers came by in support of the event and as you can see, one of them was as excited to see these creatures as were the rest of us. All who wanted to use our insect nets took one and we headed down to the river.
On the beach, we learned that when dragonflies and damselflies emerge from the water, they are most vulnerable to predation and disturbance by humans and dogs because their bodies are soft and they can’t yet fly. (This disturbance and damage has been seen at previous FORB dragonfly events and other times). Even after their wings are strong enough for first flights, they need to find shelter in nearby woods until their wings have hardened and they have enough strength to hunt.
These animals are among the more ancient creatures still thriving on planet earth. They must be doing something right!
Enjoy them where and whenever you are fortunate to see them! Many kudus and thanks to Greg for coming out to SLP today to lead this awesome event! We always learn something new every year!